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The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

Unbridled spirit

The life of a student equestrian
Kalyn Horst
Student Equestrian Kalyn Horst has been riding horses for two years now because of inspiration from her sister. She quickly found a new passion. “I had just gotten out of gymnastics and I was kind of in need of a new sport,” Horst said. “My sister wanted to know if I wanted to do it and I tried different disciplines, but I never really stuck with one except for show jumping. So, I stuck with that one.

Many of the students here at West have activities that they’re passionate about, whether that be sports, art, speech, or other activities. Two students have taken up quite an interesting hobby of horseback riding. The first student riding horses for about two years now is sophomore Kalyn Horst. Horst has had the same horse, named Muddy, and has been working with him for the full two years of her equestrian career. 

Her sister first recommended horseback riding to her after she had gotten out of gymnastics. Horse riding has many different disciplines, such as show jumping, dressage, reining, polo, trail riding, roping, etc. She tried out some of the different disciplines, but she ended up taking an interest in show jumping, which is a discipline that has a horse jump over as many obstacles as it can within a time limit. She has had a strong passion for it since.

“My favorite thing is mainly being with him [Muddy],” Horst said. “It’s nice to have another living animal with you, and even though they may not understand you, it’s cool how they’re still compassionate. They still have feelings, and they can show their love for you in a different way. It’s just nice to have a friend like that.”

When Horst first got Muddy, he was a green horse, which means he was newer and was still learning. Before he was chosen by Horst’s trainer, he came from a place with not much love, and suffering from abuse. The road has been rough, but along the way, Horst has worked hard with him in hopes of restoring his trust in people. Horst hopes that her journey with Muddy doesn’t have to come to a premature end.

“We’re only leasing him right now, but our lease is coming to an end soon,” Horst said. “So, we’ll either be purchasing him or I might have to move to a different horse. The owner has an emotional attachment though, so it might be pricey.”

The expenses of horse-riding range and it can turn out to be rather expensive. Owning a horse is also expensive so both horse riders don’t own their horses. The other student equestrian that we know of is sophomore Brynn Woockman. She has been horse riding for about three or four years. She’s never tried competing before, but she still enjoys her time with the horses as she takes lessons.

“The horse that I ride with most is Pumpkin,” Woockman said. “I don’t really own my own horse, but I use the ones that they have at the lessons. Just being around the horses is probably my favorite part.”

Woockman recommends that other students give horse riding lessons a shot, and although they may be pricey, she has formed a love for it. Her lessons last about 30 minutes to an hour before she ends with grooming them. She also spends about 30 minutes with the horses before and after her lessons. Woockman also only really focuses on show jumping for almost the same reason as Horst.

“I do jumping because it just seemed cooler and more interesting than the other things,” Woockman said. “I’m just doing it for fun, and I would recommend it for people looking for a cool hobby.”

Although their journey in horseback riding is different, they both have a love and passion for the horses that they have bonded with along the way. 

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About the Contributor
Ariana Griffin
Ariana Griffin, Staff Reporter
As a senior, this is Ana's second year on the CATalyst staff. She was previously the Online Editor-in-Chief for the CATalyst website and worked with the radio as part of the High School Radio Project. Ana looks forward to writing compelling stories and interviewing new people. Outside of journalism, Ana enjoys drawing, writing, reading and video games. She looks forward to getting to know the rest of the staff and working together with them to produce new and interesting content.

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